Saturday, 14 August 2021

Announcing The Sleigh Ride Sew-Along

Come and join the Sleigh Ride Sew-along! It doesn't matter where you live in the world or what fabrics you use, all are welcome!

It's going to be fun and a bit more relaxed than I initially intended! The Sew-along will be centred around sewing a table runner.


But there will also be options for quilts if you prefer:

The pattern works really well if you want to stick to a very limited colour pallet, but you can also go bold and use all your favourite Christmas fabrics.

Santa is an exclusive block for the sew-along. Only those who sign up before Midnight on 25th August (NZT) will receive him. He will not be available again until this time next year, so get him now if you're interested.

Santa comes with options. This is the main block which has some pretty tiny pieces at the nose and belt.

This is the simplified block which does not have any facial details and has a very simple belt.

The schedule for the Sew-Along will be as follows:

19th August: Planning, choosing fabrics and printing templates.

26th August: Sewing the Sleigh

2 September: Sewing the First Reindeer  

9th September: Sewing additional Reindeer  

16th September: SANTA BONUS BLOCK!!!  

23rd September: Construct your table runner  

30th September: Show us your complete Project.

If you want to get involved all that you have to do is buy the pattern. You will automatically be signed up to receive the sew-along weekly newsletters. If you don't wish to receive the sew-along updates, you are welcome to unsubscribe, but if you unsubscribe before 16th September you will not receive the exclusive bonus pattern.

When you purchase the pattern, you will receive three files- the reindeer pattern, the sleigh pattern and an introductory letter that has details about how to join the facebook group. I strongly suggest that you join the Facebook group as it is a friendly and welcoming place where people share their progress and ask for help/ advice.

You can purchase the Sleigh Ride Patterns in my Payhip and Etsy stores.

Let me know if you have any questions.

Let the fun begin!


P.S. the Reindeer and the Sleigh are also available individually if you prefer.

P.P.S. Unfortunately this post only contains computer mock-ups. This is because my preparation for the sew-along was severely hampered by my ruptured achilles tendon. The updated patterns have been carefully tested by a number of testers and I stand behind them 100%. I can't wait to sew my own versions of the patterns when my ankle is healed enough.

Wednesday, 13 May 2020

Dance Around the World- A Charity Quilt Pattern

I am really pleased to introduce you to my latest foundation paper pieced pattern. Dance Around the World is a new quilt block which holds a special place in my heart. There were many thought and emotions running round in my head when I designed and worked on this design and even though it was actually designed some months ago, those themes are even more relevant now than they were then.
dancing girls quilt block quilt pattern

Dance Around the World was designed to illustrate friendship, and support for people all around the world. It represents females (in my mind quilters, but it could be any females) supporting each other. Not only that, but they are having fun together, dancing together, not competing against each other. For these women skin tone doesn't matter, neither does where they live or the accents that they speak with. These women lift each other up with their friendship and support.

The social distancing associated with covid-19 has been difficult for many people. They have seen loved ones get sick and die. Businesses have closed, jobs have been lost, economies are suffering. Families have been separated and friendships have been tested. Our worlds have shrunk and many people have been left feeling isolated and lonely. With this pattern I wanted to remind people that they are not alone and that they can reach out for help and support.

Dance Around the World Table Runner
This shows a mock-up of a table runner using an early prototype of the pattern

The pattern contains a variety of templates.
  • Templates are included for both 15 x 7.5 inch individual girls and 20 x 10 inch individual girls.
  • Templates are included for both right and left facing girls
  • You have the option to give the girl a pony tail or short hair
Dancing Girl Quilt Pattern, Quilt Block

I have done my best to make this pattern as clear as possible for you. Colour diagrams, colouring sheets and a key are all included in the pattern. The templates also have symbols on them to help with fabric placement. I've even included the formula for if you want to resize the pattern (but I haven't done the maths work for you- sorry!). The only thing that is not included is instructions on how to paper piece, but I include a link to the tutorials on my blog.

In my mind there are many ways in which this pattern can be interpreted. You could sew a single girl and sash the block on either side to make it a square. You could sew two girls facing towards each other or my favourite option would be to sew a series of girls and join them together as a table runner or you could place this line of girls on a quilt with lots of negative space. You could use the same colour of fabric for all of these girls or you could use a different colour of the rainbow for the background. For this version of the pattern, you might decide to show the girl completely in silhouette. Have fun with the pattern and see what you can do.

Covid-19 has ravaged the world and left people suffering in many many ways. In recognition of the fact that we are living in strange times and that many people are going through illness and extreme financial difficulty at the moment, I wanted to do what I can to help. I have therefore decided to donate all the proceeds from the pattern sales of Dance Around the World between now and 29nd May 2020 to charity. The money will be split evenly between two charities- a New Zealand charity and an international charity. The charities that I have chosen are:

  1. Kidscan: This is a New Zealand based charity. KidsCan exists to meet the physical and nutritional needs of Kiwi kids less fortunate than others. It’s their mission to provide the essentials to Kiwi kids affected by poverty so they can participate in learning and have an opportunity for a better future.
  2. I am Proudly supporting Red Cross
You can buy the pattern by following the link to either my Etsy store or my Payhip store.

Sunday, 21 April 2019

Quilts with an Angle Blog Hop- Book Review and Giveaway

When my friend Sheila Christensen told me that she was writing a book, I was very excited and I was even more honoured when she asked if I would take part in the Blog Hop for Quilts with an Angle.

Sheila's patterns all utilise traditional piecing and a 60 degree grid. Traditionally pieced equilateral triangles, parallelograms, hexagons, diamonds, trapezoids and jewel shapes are the building blocks of her quilts.  I may seem like an unlikely fit for this blog hop as the quilts that I share tend to stick to foundation paper piecing, but I love the opportunity to branch out and try new things. Life gets boring when you stick with the same old things every day and I relish the chance to stretch myself and learn new skills.

Unfortunately, the timing of the blog hop has not been ideal for me. I am on strict instructions from my family to take it easy (after an operation last month). While they may not letting me use my sewing machine until next week I'm not going to let them stop me from sharing about this book.

I must admit that before reading this book, I hadn't considered how to efficiently cut shapes with 60 degree angles.  I'm pretty sure that I would have fuddled my way to some pretty average results. Luckily, Sheila has done a great job of simplifying every step of the process. She shows how to cut all the shapes using strips of fabric and either 60 degree triangle rulers or straight rulers. This means that you can accurately and efficiently cut multiple shapes in a relatively short period of time. 

In the Introduction of the book, Sheila discusses scant seam allowances, sewing 60 degree seams, trimming corners, chain piecing, pressing seams and many more of the basic skills that are important to have in your skill set when embarking on these patterns.

I love the way that Sheila has chosen to present her patterns. The body of the book is divided into eight lessons. The first six lessons each teach a basic shape- triangle, trapezoid, 60 degree diamond, 60 degree parallelogram, hexagon and 60 degree jewel. 

Each lesson starts by teaching the basics of the shape. Here there is a discussion of how the sizes are defined. The system that Sheila has developed is clear, logical and remains consistent between the different shapes. There are also clear pictures showing how to cut the shapes using a variety of different rulers and a reference table is given for those wanting to alter the size of building blocks used in the given patterns. Those of you who are petrified by the idea of doing lots of maths can relax. Sheila breaks the method down into easy manageable chunks.

Sheila then builds on this by teaching a quilt block using the shape. I am particularly in love with the Stack the Dishes block from the 60 degree diamond lesson. I am pretty sure that this is top of my list of patterns to try! Here is an example of the block.

To finish each lesson, Sheila presents two quilt patterns which use the block. By so doing, Sheila highlights the versatility of the 60 degree grid as blocks can be used in a straight setting or in a kaleidoscope setting.

Misty Morning is the first quilt pattern for the Stack The Dishes block. Here the blocks are placed in a straight setting and sashing has been used to separate the individual blocks. I love the elegance of the pattern.

Shadow Flower uses exactly the same basic block, but this time they have been set in a kaleidoscope setting with no sashing. Just look at the beauty of this quilt! I love it!
Lesson seven of the book covers 60 degree strip pieced quilts. Three different quilts are included in this chapter.

The designer in me finds the final lesson to be the most exciting one. In it, Sheila encourages people to branch out and start designing their own quilts using 60 degree triangle blocks. My brain is already ticking over some ideas to play with!

After reading this book, I feel confident that I could tackle a quilt which is designed using a 60 degree grid. The book is filled with beautiful patterns which offer a refreshing alternative to the usual to squares and half square triangles. Amazingly, I don't feel intimidated by the idea of doing lots of maths, because Sheila has done such a great job of stripping the technique back to basics.

If you are curious to hear more about Quilts with Angles, check out the other stops in the blog hop. Each stop offers the chance to win an ebook.

April 16th C&T

April 17th Wendy Welsh

April 18th Sheila Christensen

April 19th Angie Wilson

April 20th Juliet van der Heijden

April 21st Kim Moos

April 22nd Yvonne Fuchs

April 23rd Aurifil

April 24th Jacquie Gering

April 25th Sheila Christensen

*** Giveaway Closed***
Congratulations to Bec, the winner of the ebook.

To be in the running to win a copy of the Ebook, leave a comment here telling me what quilting technique you are most keen to learn.

Leave your email address if you are a no-reply blogger.
I will announce the winner on this blog post on 27th April and will make every effort to contact them.
The winner has 3 days to get in touch with me and claim their prize. A new winner will be chosen if the initial winner doesn't make contact.

Sunday, 3 June 2018

Emu Foundation Paper Pieced Quilt Pattern Release

If you are looking for a fun quilt pattern, you're in luck, I have just the thing for you! My latest Emu pattern creates the perfect mini quilt.

It's a quilt block that will make you smile.
It's a bird quilt brimming with cheekiness and personality.

This Crazy Emu measures 18 inch x 18 inch, but percentages are included if you wish to resize the block.You can purchase the pdf pattern in my Etsy Store, my Payhip Store and My Craftsy Store. People in the EU MUST buy their pattern through Etsy or Payhip, NOT Craftsy.

I made my version of the pattern using brand new Karen Lewis Textiles Blueberry Park 3 Fabric from Robert Kaufman.

The really fun thing is that Karen loved the mini quilt so much that she offered to create a kit of the pattern. If you would like to sew a mini quilt with the exact same fabrics, then you can buy an Emu fabric kit here:

If you were not interested in making a mini quilt, this pattern would create a really fun cushion and I think it would also be great on the front of a tote bag.

If you have time for a larger project, then why not sew 4 emus and combine them in the following arrangement- It would make a great 36 inch x 36 inch lap quilt.

I am really grateful to the talented quilters who tested this pattern for me. Each and every one of them gave me valuable feedback on this pattern.

Pattern testers always give me a first glance as to how people will interpret each new pattern. I love every version that they sewed:

Suzanne was determined to depart from my colour choices. I love the dramatic dark background that she gave her block.

Paul took a subtle choice with his yellow emu:

Lynn had fun with batiks:

Raewyn sewed this beautiful version in greys and teals.

I really look forward to seeing all the emus that you create!

The pdf pattern can be bought from the following stores: my Etsy Store, my Payhip Store and My Craftsy Store.
People in the EU MUST buy their pattern through Etsy or Payhip, NOT Craftsy. 

Thursday, 8 February 2018

Announcing the On The Wire Pattern Club

While on Summer holiday in a beautiful part of New Zealand called Glenorchy this Summer, I couldn't help but fall in love with cute little birds called riflemen. They are a species of New Zealand Wrens and these tiny birds can often be seen in forests flitting around in groups of three or four.

I didn't take my computer on holiday with me, but when I got home, I sat down and quickly sketched a pattern. After having worked on secret projects for most of last year, it felt like a luxury to have a project that I could share without limitations, so I shared images of all my trial blocks on instagram. I wanted to show people that I really work at perfecting my patterns. There is thought and care put into the construction. I don't just draw the pattern and immediately send it to testers without sewing the pattern myself.

I sewed this particular pattern six times before I sent it off to be testers. Now I must admit that I don't usually sew a pattern quite this number of times, but it is a quick and easy pattern to sew and lots of different variations on pattern kept on popping into my head so I couldn't resist trying them all out.

My initial pattern was 6 inch, but while I was perfecting the construction of the block, I also tried it as a 12 inch pattern. I took a poll on instagram asking what size of block people wanted. The results were pretty inconclusive, so I decided to include both in the pattern.

While I was playing with the pattern, a few Brits commented that the pattern looked like a wren, but that its tail needed to point upwards. I also received a few polite requests from Australians who were keen for me to design a Fairy Wren pattern. Now I must admit that I tend to design what I want rather than what others request (this way, I can work on projects that I am passionate about and I am more likely to give my best work), but these weren't commissions and I loved the idea of a series of wrens all sitting next to each other.

So I hatched a plan.

A series of wren blocks was the result. There is the possibility for each of the wrens to sit on a wire, so you can create a quilt with a row of birds sitting on a telegraph wire.

Today I am launching the first of those wren patterns. I've put a lot into the pattern and I'm extremely proud of the result. The pattern contains the templates for:
  • A 6 inch left facing wren sitting on a rock
  • A 6 inch right facing wren sitting on a rock
  • A 6 inch left facing wren sitting on a wire
  • A 6 inch right facing wren sitting on a wire
  • A 12 inch left facing wren sitting on a rock
  • A 12 inch right facing wren sitting on a rock
  • A 12 inch left facing wren sitting on a wire
  • A 12 inch right facing wren sitting on a wire
Not only this, but the pattern is jam packed with diagrams, colouring sheets, a key to help you keep track of your fabrics and fabric requirements. In fact, this simple block pattern consists of 25 pages.
Those who are confident piecing tiny pieces can sew one of the 6 inch versions of the pattern. Those who are not so confident can start with the 12 inch version and move onto the 6 inch version as their skills develop.

There are two ways that you can buy. the pattern:

1. Buy the individual pattern. From my Etsy, Payhip or Craftsy store.

2. Sign up for the On the Wire Pattern Club. By signing up you will be emailed one wren pattern per month for five months. The first four patterns will be released as individual patterns and will contain a comparable amount of detail.  In the fifth month a bonus pattern will be sent to club subscribers. This final pattern will not be released as an individual pattern, the only way to receive it will be through the Pattern Club. You can sign up for the Pattern Club on Etsy, Payhip or Craftsy.

Knowing me, I have probably overlooked mentioning an important detail, so if you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask. I will reply to your queries directly in this blog post.


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